Her Majesty's Annual Christmas Day Message

2
828

2 COMMENTS

  1. Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham

    Prime Minister of The Bahamas

    Christmas 2009

    Throughout the Christian world Christmas is the happiest of religious celebrations.  Here in The Bahamas it is eagerly anticipated as a time for family gathering, religious services and Junkanoo.  I wish to extend best wishes to Bahamians everywhere and to all those visiting with us at this time of year a very Merry Christmas.

    This year, as is our custom, Christmas ushers in a season of generosity of spirit and of sharing.  This is all the more welcomed this year as so many of our people continue to struggle against the fallout of the global economic recession.

    At Christmas time last year we were all already aware of the challenges and the uncertainty facing our country in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis that had descended upon us and the world.  As we prepare to celebrate another holiday season, the challenges and the uncertainty remain.

    Although we are told that the worst recession in living memory may have bottomed out and that recovery may have begun, our tourist trade and other economic sectors will take a while yet to recover.

    Thousands of Bahamian families have had to face the stark reality of unemployment and underemployment as the global economy and hence the Bahamian economy shrank.  I know that for many people 2009 has been very difficult.

    We continue to manage our economy prudently and sensibly so as to ensure that we are well placed to benefit from the global recovery as it occurs.  We are cautiously optimistic that 2010 will be better for more people than was 2009.

    Despite our present economic and financial circumstances, we still have reason to give thanks and to look to the future with hope.  In so many respects, The Bahamas has been fortunate when compared to some communities in both developed and developing countries.

    We have been able to undertake a massive programme of public works providing employment for hundreds, bolstering economic activity and placing us in a better position to compete when economic recovery comes.

    We have also been able to bring various forms of relief to many Bahamian families including, for the first time, an unemployment benefit which is a help to many in these hard times.  For that we are thankful.

    The spectre of crime, especially violent crime in New Providence, remains a constant concern for all of us and a cause of fear in many.  Anti-social behaviour is particularly distressing.  My colleagues and I continue working on additional effective responses to this challenge and I will have more to say about that early in the New Year.

    Nevertheless, there is much that we have to give thanks for including promising developments that we must build upon for the future.  For one thing, the vast majority of our young people are on the right track.

    Indeed, many are excelling in healthy pursuits such as academics, sports, the arts and business.  We must do more to celebrate, encourage and assist them.

    Furthermore there are thousands of our citizens who are, on a voluntary basis, working every day to mend and to improve the social fabric of our nation.

    Working in youth groups, social clubs, service clubs, charitable organizations and churches, they bring comfort to the aged and infirm, help to the needy, and direction and inspiration to the youth.  For them we are thankful.

    Then there are the thousands of public servants who have always done their best in their various areas of responsibility to advance the business of the country, who teach our children, who work around the clock to protect our health and safety, and who guard our borders and territorial integrity as well as our property both public and private.

    Many of them will be on duty during this holiday so that the rest of us can enjoy the celebrations in safety.  For them we are thankful.

    In addition to our economic and social problems, we, along with much of the world, especially small developing archipelagic countries, face the challenge of climate change and its potentially devastating effects on our environment and our ability to survive as a state.

    I was privileged to lead a delegation of Bahamian professional, technical and administrative persons at the recent Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    The outcome of the Copenhagen Summit fell short of our best hopes for a new legally-binding agreement.

    As you are now aware the industrialized countries and the largest developing countries meeting at Copenhagen only agreed to voluntarily restrict their greenhouse emissions at levels so as not to increase global temperatures above 2 degrees Celsius.

    The science of climate change strongly suggests that sea level rise resulting from temperature rise above 1.5 Celsius could begin to submerge the coastal areas of many island states and other low-lying states.  Indeed, it is believed that sea level rise from an increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius could result in the loss of 80% of our landmass.

    The Copenhagen Accord also contained the pledge of developed countries to provide US $30 billion over the next three years – 2010 to 2012 — and US $100 billion annually by 2020.  These funds will be used to assist developing states and very particularly low-lying island states and other vulnerable least developed states to meet the challenges for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

    We will continue to press our case internationally. It is imperative also that all of us become more aware of what we can do to protect our environment while still meeting national expectations for economic development and the supply of services and utilities.

    We are fortunate to be living in one of the most beautiful spots on the globe and for that too we must be thankful.

    I am confident that we as a people will continue to draw on those deep reservoirs of resilience, imagination, intellect and spiritual strength that have carried us through many generations of good times as well as challenging times.

    So let the cowbells, drums and horns ring out once again in the city, celebrating another holiday season and the traditional Bahamian spirit of confidence in ourselves, trust in God and hope in the future.

    My family and my colleagues in the Government join me in wishing each and every one of you, and the strangers within our gates, a blessed Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season.

    Thank you.

  2. 2009 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

    TO

    THE NATION

    BY

    HIS EXCELLENCY

    THE HONOURABLE ARTHUR D. HANNA

    GOVERNOR-GENERAL

    OF

    THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS

    “FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN; AND THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER; AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.”

    MY FELLOW BAHAMIANS, RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TO THE BAHAMAS, GREETINGS; AND I WISH YOU PEACE.

    OVER 2000 YEARS AGO, THE PRINCE OF PEACE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS AND THE ANGELS SANG, “PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TOWARD MEN”.

    DURING THIS HOLY SEASON WHEN WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, I ASK YOU TO JOIN WITH ME AND PRAY FOR PEACE: PEACE IN OUR HEARTS, PEACE IN OUR HOMES, PEACE ON OUR STREETS, PEACE IN OUR NATION, AND INDEED PEACE IN THE WORLD.

    AT THIS TIME WE REMEMBER THE MILLIONS OF MEN AND WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD WHO ARE ON PEACE KEEPING MISSIONS. I ASK ALL BAHAMIANS TO PRAY FOR THESE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE IN HARM’S WAY, AND ALSO PRAY FOR THEIR FAMILIES.

    MY FELLOW BAHAMIANS, 2009 HAS BEEN A TURBULENT YEAR FOR THE BAHAMAS FOR WE HAVE HAD MANY CHALLENGES. GOING INTO

    THE NEW YEAR, WE WILL STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MANY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES, BUT I HAVE HOPE.

    I AM PERSUADED THAT BAHAMIANS DO HAVE THE WILL AND THE WHEREWITHAL TO SUCCESSFULLY MEET THE CHALLENGES CONFRONTING US, WITH THE HELP OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF BAHAMIANS WITH THIS SAME HOPE AND MINDSET.

    I RECALL PAST SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES THAT CONFRONTED THE BAHAMAS AND HOW WE BAHAMIANS AS A PEOPLE WITH ONE VOICE, AND DOGGED DETERMINATION, SUCCESSFULLY MET THOSE CHALLENGES.

    MY FELLOW BAHAMIANS, THERE IS ONLY ONE FREE AND SOVEREIGN STATE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS; WE ARE ONE PEOPLE. AS A PEOPLE, WE ARE CALLED TO PRESERVE OUR WAY OF LIFE.

    I ENCOURAGE ALL OF US TO EARNESTLY AND PRAYERFULLY SEEK TO PRESERVE OUR TRADITIONS AND DO NOT ALLOW THE THIEF TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY WHAT WE HAVE FOUGHT SO HARD TO BUILD AND ESTABLISH.

    BAHAMIANS, LET US STAND UP, AND DO OUR PART IN COMBATING CRIME AND CRIMINALITY, AND ALL THAT MAKE TO DESTROY OUR WAY OF LIFE.

    THE BAHAMAS IS STILL A BLESSED NATION AND WE HAVE MANY THINGS FOR WHICH TO GIVE GOD THANKS. WE THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE, MERCY AND LOVING KINDNESS. IN 2009 WE WERE SPARED THE RAVAGES OF HURRICANES. IN 2009, NOTWITHSTANDING THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN IN THE COUNTRY, MOST FAMILIES HAD BREAD ON THE TABLE AND A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS.

    I AM ESPECIALLY THANKFUL TO THE PEOPLE OF THE BAHAMAS AND ALL OTHERS WHO SHOWED GREAT KINDNESS TO ME AND MY FAMILY DURING OUR RECENT LOST. IN NOVEMBER, I LAID TO REST MY BELOVED WIFE OF 59 YEARS, HER EXCELLENCY, THE LATE MRS. BERYL HANNA.

    I AM EVER SO GRATEFUL TO THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS FOR THE EXPRESSIONS OF KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY. I AM ALSO GRATEFUL TO ALL THOSE WHO EXPRESSED IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, CONDOLENCES AND SYMPATHY. TO THE MANY THOUSANDS AT HOME AND ABROAD WHO WISHED ME AND MY FAMILY WELL DURING THE TIME OF OUR BEREAVEMENT, I SAY A HEARTFELT THANK YOU.

    CHRISTMAS IS A JOYOUS TIME; A TIME TO CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

    CHRISTMAS IS A TIME TO WORSHIP AND ADORE THE CHRIST CHILD.

    DURING THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES, LET US REMEMBER TO GIVE TO THE LESS FORTUNATE AMONG US; AND BE MINDFUL OF THE ELDERLY, THE SICK AND SHUT IN AND THEIR CAREGIVERS; FOR WE ARE BLESSED, TO BE A BLESSING.

    BUT ABOVE ALL, LET US RECOMMIT OURSELVES TO SERVICE, ALWAYS TO THOSE WHO SUFFER THROUGH POVERTY, SICKNESS, IGNORANCE OR OTHERWISE FOR THERE IS NO

    NOBLER GIFT WE CAN GIVE TO THE BAHAMAS AND HER PEOPLE.

    MAY THE GOD OF PEACE REIGN IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN.

    HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

Comments are closed.